Winter storm hits Eastern Canada, causing power outages, accidents

The Maritimes have been hit with a second dose of winter weather in less than a week, while Quebec is getting its first major storm of the season.

Quebec storm part of system that produced tornadoes and flooding in U.S.

A man shovels the outside walkway outside of a business on Ste-Catherine Street in Montreal. (Kalina Laframboise/CBC)

Quebec is getting its first major storm of the season, while the Maritimes are being slammed by a second dose of winter weather in less than a week. 

Between 15 and 40 centimetres of snow were forecast in southern Quebec on Tuesday, causing delays at Montreal's Pierre Elliott Trudeau International Airport.

The airport recommends that travellers check the status of their flights before leaving home.

Quebec provincial police said that several dozen cars went off the road this morning in the Montreal area, but no major injuries were reported.

For Montreal, the arrival of the storm marks the first real test of the city's new centralized snow removal policy.

Earlier Tuesday, more than 2,000 Hydro-Québec customers in Montreal were without electricity, but power was restored by mid-morning. 

The storm hitting Quebec is part of a system that produced tornadoes and flooding in the U.S. Midwest and Southwest. More than 40 people were killed during the Christmas holiday period, including 11 in the Dallas area when twisters hit.

Maritime snowfall warnings

Environment Canada issued snowfall warnings of up to 25 centimetres for most of the Maritimes. The weather is grounding planes and slowing road traffic to a crawl in some areas.

More than 6,000 Nova Scotia Power customers were without electricity in Dartmouth for much of Tuesday afternoon, and some Halifax Transit buses were put on special routes to cope with the snowfall. 

Environment Canada meteorologist Barrie MacKinnon says a weather system near Cape Cod in Massachusetts is responsible for the storm, which was expected to bring up to 25 centimetres of snow to much of mainland Nova Scotia and southeastern New Brunswick by the end of Tuesday.

Several flight delays were reported at Halifax Stanfield International Airport and RCMP in Nova Scotia said numerous traffic accidents are blamed on the bad weather.

Freezing rain in Ontario

Toronto experienced a winter blast on Monday night, resulting in flight backlogs in Toronto, Montreal and Ottawa

Over three centimetres of snow fell in the Toronto area, while Hamilton received about seven hours of freezing rain and the London area had it for eight hours, according to Weather Network meteorologist Jaclyn Whittal.

Many Ottawa buses were delayed by the heavy snow Tuesday morning, causing large backups. (Danny Globerman/CBC)

In Toronto, a few hours of snow was followed by ice pellets and then rain, leaving roadways choked with slush.
According to provincial and Toronto police, there were nearly 100 collisions in the Greater Toronto Area overnight related to the weather. None of them resulted in serious injuries. Dozens more collisions were reported on Tuesday morning.

With files from The Canadian Press


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